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Full text of "Mathematical And Physical Papers - Iii"

340          ON THE CHANGE OF REFRANGIBIUTY  OF  LIGHT.
lime*, but I do not know how far it may be regarded as chemically pure.
130. Many of the substances used in dyeing, and dyed articles in common use, furnish very remarkable examples of sensibility. Archil, litmus and turmeric have been already mentioned; and I have been recently informed by a friend that the Mercurialis perennis, in which a striking instance of sensibility was observed, was formerly employed in dyeing. A piece of scarlet cloth, examined in a linear spectrum, gave a copious derived spectrum which was very narrow, consisting chiefly of the more refrangible red. With a vertical slit the bands H and fixed lines beyond were seen on a red ground. Paper washed with a solution of cochineal and afterwards with a solution of alum, when examined in a linear spectrum, displayed a pretty high degree of sensibility, the derived spectrum consisting in this case of a red band. If tartaric acid be used instead of alum, the dispersion is a good deal more copious.
Common red tape is another example in which the derived spectrum is very copious, consisting mainly of a reel band. Some red wool, dyed I suppose with madder, proved extremely sensitive. The derived spectrum in this case was pretty broad, but red was the predominant colour. Green wool, dyed I do not know with what, was also very sensitive, giving a pretty broad derived spectrum, in which green was the predominant colour. Those examples may suffice, but the reader must not suppose that they form the only instances in which dispersion was observed among dyed substances. On the contrary, it is extremely common in this class.
131. Brazil wood, safflower, red sandal wood, fustic and madder, all gave rise to solutions having a pretty high degree of sensibility. The solutions here referred to were such as were obtained directly by water, &c., in which the colours which these substances are capable of producing were not brought out. The beautiful red colouring matters of logwood and camwood appear to be insensible; for a fresh-made solution of logwood in water exhibited no perceptible sensibility, and the slight sensibility
[* It was so stated in a book on artists' colours, but Dr Stenhouse told me it was a lake of some kind. ]